Tonya Harding School of International Diplomacy

Nancy Kerrigan and Tonya HardingI’m always looking for clever, incisive, powerful ways to characterize complex ideas, compact little nuggets that sum it all up, say everything that needs to be said, a summation perhaps captured by a short and snappy phrase, a zingy meme, a stark self-contained image or dramatic self-evident diorama, which steers clear of the boredom and excess of dense and convoluted explications, conflated with histrionic exposition and other contrived manipulations.

Actually that last sentence is a lot like the kind of thing I’m try to avoid.

Too many words and too much self-indulgent grandstanding. 

Use a Thesaurus, go to jail.

Anyway, I was trying to think of a clever way of summing up America’s foreign policy.

And by golly, I think I have it!

Remember the competition between Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan at the U.S. Nationals for two spots on the American Olympic team.  This was back it 1994.

It was obvious to Tonya she had met her match. Nancy was giving her a real run for her money.  So what did Tonya Harding do?

She hired a thug to bludgeon Kerrigan’s knee cap with a huge pipe.

And that anecdote, ladies and gentlemen, sums up America’s approach to international diplomacy!

If you get in our way, expect to get whacked!

Sometimes we just bomb the shit out of a country.  Whoever crawls out of the rubble tends to have a more conciliatory disposition.

If that proves inconvenient, or might lead to too much condemnation by the international community (there are a lot of wimps out there who just don’t “get it”) the U.S. will resort to secretive special ops units, color revolutions, weaponized diseases, hybrid warfare — propaganda, NGOs, social media, cyber attacks — to the same effect.  Once chaos has properly taken root in the targeted nation, down a civilian airliner, throw in some random assassinations, blockades, economic sanctions, create no-fly zones, engineer currency devaluation, invoke shrill comparisons to Adolph Hitler, blow up a hospital, and BINGO!  Mission accomplished!

Tonya-Harding-NowI’m sure there are others who would like to claim credit for the U.S.’s our-way-or-the-highway approach to working with other nations, but let’s at least give a visible nod of appreciation to the young lady who best epitomizes this exceptionalist philosophy.

Tonya . . . you will always be a true winner in our eyes, regardless of how grotesquely fat and ugly you’ve gotten over the years.

After all, it was you that boldly exemplified what has become the fundamental tenets of America’s current foreign policy:

  1.  We make the rules.
  2.  Winning is everything.
  3.  Preemptive attacks are awesome.
  4.  All is fair because we say it is.
  5.  Playing nice is for pussies.

If I can be so bold as to suggest it, I believe that it’s high time that Harvard or Princeton or other equally prestigious institutions of higher learning, set aside the resources and proper institutional setting for perpetuating and promoting this visionary philosophy of imperial order, and appropriately call it the “Tonya Harding School of International Diplomacy”.

I’m already feeling the public excitement building for this and imagine that shortly after this article appears, crowdfunding on Kickstarter or Rockethub for this idea will get off to a rip-roaring start.

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